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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

dom from accoutrement, and insecurely confident
that they knew the way. The muttered message "pass
it along—steady the pace in front" was accompanied
by the usual muffled clinkings and rattlings of arms
and equipment. Unwillingly retarded, the guides led
us into the deepening dusk. We hadn't more than
two miles to go, but gradually the guides grew less
authoritative. Several times they stopped to get their
bearings. Leake fussed and fumed and they became
more and more flurried, I began to suspect that our
progress was circular.

At a midnight halt the hill still loomed in front of
us; the guides confessed that they had lost their way,
and Leake decided to sit down and wait for daylight.
(There were few things more uncomfortable in the life
of an officer than to be walking in front of a party of
men all of whom knew that he was leading them in
the wrong direction.) With Leake's permission I
blundered experimentally into the gloom, fully ex-
pecting to lose both myself and the Company. By a
lucky accident, I soon fell headlong into a sunken
road and found myself among a small party of Sap-
pers who could tell me where I was. It was a case of
"Please, can you tell me the way to the Hindenburg
Trench?" Congratulating myself on my cleverness, I
took one of the Sappers back to poor benighted B Com-
pany, and we were led to our Battalion rendezvous.

The rendezvous took some finding, since wrong
map references had been issued by the Brigade Staff;
but at last, after many delays, the Companies filed
along to their ordained (and otherwise anathema-
tized) positions.

We were at the end of a journey which had begun
twelve days before, when we started from Camp 13.
Stage by stage, we had marched to the life-denying

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